PLEASE HELPP!!!!!!

Cortney - posted on 03/24/2014 ( 49 moms have responded )

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i am currently in a court battle with my daughters "father".... he has been an absent parent for the past 3 years and she just turned 4. he was in jail for drugs and i want nothing more than to keep him out of her life! he never wanted n e thing to do with her until he got another girl pregnant.... now they want to play house with my child! hes never paid child support and never even calls to see how she is doing! i just found out that he will be getting unsupervised visits with her come april! :( ive been threatened with contempt of court because i would rather keep her safe than send her with him! i dont know what to do my lawyer doesnt seem to even care and everyone is telling me that i will just have to get over and get used to the fact he will be in her life! i didnt know it was ok for parents to walk out on their children for 3 years and then just walk back in ! i need some help i dont know what to do! i thought i got rid of him years ago because hes not a good person and my daughter does not need someone like that in her life ..... if anyone has n e suggestions on what i can do please help !!!!! im in ohio and i know the laws are differrent in every state but soemthing has to be done i cant let him have her !

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/31/2014

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Sandra, the paternity isn't in question, here, so why do you put quotes around "Father"? The man is the child's biological father. There's no 'maybe' about it.

And, you do realize that multiple calls to the police requesting multiple welfare checks could be considered harassment by the other party? Especially if they call her back and tell her they found nothing to be concerned about. That suggestion crosses a very fine line. Calling her CPS caseworker, and requesting a welfare check on dad and daughter during his custody time is one thing, but multiple calls to police during that time could do more harm to her case than good.

Jodi - posted on 03/31/2014

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Actually, her child does not "belong" to her. Children are not possessions and do not "belong" to us. Just wanted to get that clear.

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Sandra - posted on 03/31/2014

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There might not be anything you can do until it gets resolved in court. My only suggestion is to call the police frequently to do a wellness check on your child when she is with her "father". They will go by make sure she's okay and if he is under the influence or if anything dangerous is going on they can take care of it from there. It leaves a trail showing your concern for her safety and sends a message to him as well that they can stop by anytime.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/31/2014

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Sorry, ladies, but one cannot POSSESS a child. One does not OWN a child.

That would be slavery, and that is illegal.

A parent may have CUSTODY of the child, but they are not the SOLE OWNER.

Charity - posted on 03/31/2014

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Email me if I can give you some support or anything, because I don't know what you can do. If your daughter is in danger, then by all means let the police know right away and don't be afraid if he threatens you.

Charity - posted on 03/31/2014

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Yes, Jodi, my daughter does belong to me and she is mine. She's my little girl and she always will be my girl.
Your kids might not belong to you, but mine belong to me.

Charity - posted on 03/31/2014

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Courtney, I'm so sorry. He sounds like an awful, disgusting lout. My father never wanted anything to do with me as a child and my mom didn't want him around my sisters and I because he was dangerous. She only found that out after she married him.
He beat her and her other kids very badly and molested them. Then she found out that he had raped his other little girls from a previous marriage. He had a pattern to woo women and marry them quickly and then abuse their children before they found out how he was. I don't blame you. Courtney, protect your little girl!! You fight for her tooth and nail. Don't you let him hurt her like my pathetic excuse for a father would have done to me had he the chance. The courts don't have her best interest at heart, Courtney. Protecting your little girl is number one. I don't know what you can do, but if he's never paid a dime and does drugs, tell God about it and pray and get another lawyer. Trust me, your little girl doesn't need that influence her life.

J - posted on 03/30/2014

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I understand how frustrated you must be. It's very hard to entrust our beloved sweet children to virtual strangers to them. I'm sorry that you have to go through this stress. :(
What are you most afraid of? If you are in fear of her safety, even if you are threatened with a contempt charge, I would not give him visitation. If you can prove your case, you will likely win. Be very honest with yourself and try to keep the focus on your child and not your ex and his situation. It's very hard to do that but it is very important. I know it may seem crazy, but your child may end up enjoying his company and developing a very important bond with him.
On the other hand, if you are truly concerned,
You should start documenting everything. Maybe start by writing his history in a notebook and explain why you don't want him in her life. I will tell you, however that if it's for any other reason than fearing for your child's real safety and well being, you need to rethink everything. Does she get all of her meals when she is with him? Is she well supervised? Do you have ANY reason to believe that he is in any way involved with drugs? The law in most states focuses on the safety and well being of the child to exclude any drama or ancillary parental emotions. I know it seems unfair, but the court views visitation and history of paying child support as totally separate issues. In other words, he could still be entitled to visitation even if he has never paid a penny. This is because they don't put a price on a child's connection to her parents, even when the parent has been absent for a long time. I know this is hard and I wish you good luck and peaceful times ahead.

Jodi - posted on 03/28/2014

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Interesting that my post is the only one you replied to. And yet others have commented with pretty much the same advice since.

Cortney - posted on 03/28/2014

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Jodi it's the way your saying it.... there's a kind and encouraging way to say things. I just wanted to hear some encouragement I'm doing what I'm supposed to just like I always have taking care of my little girl. I know that I have to do what court says and I've complied with it all!!! so no surprise there I'm within my legal rights and I'm doing it all by the book thanks to those that have said some helpful things and had kind things to say no one really knows my situation bc none of you are in it... yes similar ones but I can't even begin to tell everything that man has done to my daughter and I ..... if he was a good person don't you think I would have tried to stick it out ..... I left for a reason to get the hell out of that downward spiral ...

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There are so many points to make here, I almost don't even know where to start. Not paying child support is shitty and should be pursued, but it has no bearing on how a person does or will TREAT their child. There are some very irresponsible NCPs out there who still have a very loving relationship with their child. Also, just because he was dealing drugs does not necessarily mean he is a drug addict. He may or may not be. And even if he WAS, that doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't gotten clean. Another point- I have the misfortune of knowing several career drug dealers (from a place I used to work, NOT because I hang around those kinds of people...before anyone tries to use that accusation to invalidate my point.) and those I know personally never just "leave stuff laying around" where a child could get into it. They protect their stashes with their life because in their sick minds it's THAT important to them, and also they don't want to get caught. Next- Just because he went to jail for dealing drugs, also does not necessarily mean he STILL is dealing. It is the court and/or family services' jobs to investigate those things, and if they are giving him unsupervised visitation they obviously have found him to be of no danger to the child. If they have missed something, then you present your evidence in court when you go, without putting the child in the middle of course. Assumptions and fears without *current* evidence are not good enough to influence a court order and certainly not good enough to deny a child a private relationship with their parent. If the parent isn't posing a threat to the child, regardless what you feel the father deserves, YOUR CHILD deserves the freedom of building a relationship with her dad without a babysitter.

I have sort of been on the other side of this. My DH has a history of dealing drugs in his younger days before I knew him, as well as a felony on his record for possession of pot with intent to deliver...yet he has not been involved in that since I've been with him and he has NEVER been a danger to our children. He has a child from a previous relationship and the mother has called him an "alcoholic, drug addict, deadbeat", has told him and everyone they mutually know that he's a horrible parent, has done "nothing" for his daughter, and that he's generally bad for his daughter to be around, claimed *I* was a danger to the child as well all because I simply called BM out on a blatant lie one time, and has claimed his daughter would be better off without him in her life at all...all while he was seeing his daughter twice EVERY week, giving BM more than the state mandated percentage of his income for child support EVERY week (plus extra when she asked) without any court order making him nor a paternity test after she questioned paternity, and neither he nor I have ever once harmed his child in any way. So please understand I very honestly mean no offense here, but I take it worth a grain of salt when a parent claims their ex is a "bad person" or unfit for visitation without providing concrete evidence of exactly how that other parent is a danger to the child. And it seems you really don't have any evidence he's doing those things at all anymore, much less in your child's presence.

And just food for thought, here's the effect my SD's biomom's accusations and attempts to keep her away from the father have had in our situation: After 4 YEARS of seeing us regularly, no matter what we do, SD is miserable at our house and most of the time refuses to do anything but literally sit on the couch and stare all day, avoiding and ignoring everyone. 90% of the time she will not play or talk to anyone, cries for no apparent reason, acts uncomfortable and scared of us even though we've never done her any harm, and is just in general still unable to adjust because of BM's long-time attitude toward and about us. Yes, in the end, the child HAS been deeply hurt emotionally through all of it...but NOT by my DH's history of poor choices, but rather by BM's way of handling everything and using his past mistakes against him when they were irrelevant to his parenting in the present. That's why I say if you have CURRENT evidence, by all means present it to the court when you go, otherwise you cannot just assume and accuse because the court order will prevail and you'll have no choice, and your attitude toward the father WILL affect your child's social-emotional development.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/28/2014

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Actually, Ms. Kim, selling a controlled substance is only a felony under certain circumstances, AND, in each state, the laws differ.

For example, in Wyoming, possession of under 3 oz of marijuana with intent to sell is a misdemeanor, but possession of over 3 oz with intent to distribute is a felony.

Selling 1/4 oz of weed in Wyoming is a misdemeanor. However, in Colorado, possession of marijuana is not a criminal offense, nor is the sale, or purchase from a regulated retailer. See? Different states, different statues, different laws.

And, Courtney never said one thing about a felony charge until YESTERDAY.

Courtney, you are probably not going to be allowed to present evidence yourself. That is what your attorney is for. And, no they probably will not look at anything before the court date...because that's what the court date is for.

If your attorney has your factual evidence, and there's been no underhanded means of obtaining that evidence, the court should allow it to be presented at the proper time.

Sherry - posted on 03/28/2014

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This is definitely not what I was saying nor hinting to so let me clarify my position completely my previous statement was to say that if my response was not offensive to you or anyone else then there was no need to respond to me concerning it yes its a public forum and whoever can say whatever my position is I'd you have the ability to say anything make sure it was or is said in love there are some posts in this thread which does not belong to me that are judgmental and if those post do not belong to to you then nothing I said should have moved you so in closing I am not being defensive I am merely stating my opinion maybe I am too forward for some of you who took offense I'm not going to apologize for that it is who I am if I feel it I state it like it or not.

Michelle - posted on 03/28/2014

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Sherry: it's not even your thread and you are getting very defensive. It's a public forum and anyone has the right to reply, you can't tell people if they are allowed to respond or not.

Sherry - posted on 03/28/2014

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If your posts have not been judgmental then why respond I am talking to those who are and yes there are some offer the assistance if you choose to whatever does not apply to you there is no need to respond to.

Michelle - posted on 03/28/2014

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So, stating the legal side is now judgmental?
Just because what is the legal thing to do isn't what most Mothers want to do doesn't mean we are being judgmental or unsupportive. There is usually a big gap between the legal road and the moral road when it comes to nasty custody battles and unfortunately, you need to abide by the legal road if you want to still be with your child.
There hasn't been any judgmental comments, just comments stating the facts so that Courtney doesn't lose custody for contempt for not following orders.

Sherry - posted on 03/28/2014

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I've seen a lot of posts in regards to Cortney's question and there have been some positive responses and some highly judgmental ones; I myself are going through a custody battle with my oldest children's father and like Courtney he had not made any attempts at visiting with my children my advice is to find a lawyer who has your best interest at heart if the one you have is not willing to work for you then get one that will it may be costly but well worth it in the end. All any of us can do is pray for the best for Courtney and her daughter and pray for the situation in general being judgmental is totally ridiculous and those taking that route really need to reevaluate their involvement with this site.

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2014

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As I said, Cortney, I was giving you advice. Not negative, realistic. You just didn't like it. I guarantee your advice from your lawyer would be pretty much the same. But you don't like what they have had to say either, so no surprises there.

Cortney - posted on 03/27/2014

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I did come here to vent and get some advise on some things no one said I was keeping her away!!! no one said I was being a bitch about the situation I just wanted my daughter safe and no you don't seem to have n e sympathy and if you didn't like what I had to say or post then don't keep responding I thought this was for just that.... moms needing support and all I have is negative nancy ! I haven't done n e thing ... I have not questioned her.... I have not kept her from him.... I got a home phone just for him to call!!!! I've been trying here I just know that she doesn't need to be in that house I guess I was wrong about this site so I won't be back on

Jodi - posted on 03/27/2014

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Cortney, you did not come here to vent, you came here for advice. You have been given advice, you just don't like it. The fact is, you appear to have a court date. Legally, you have to wait for that. Legally, you must hand over your child or be in contempt. Legally, you have no right to withhold her. Legally, you have no right to control the other parent's household unless it is court ordered. End of story. I "get" that you don't LIKE the situation, but what you like doesn't matter. Sorry if that sounds like I have no empathy for you, I am just stating the facts.

However, you seem to have decided to do what you will do, so good luck with that.

And to Kim, the responses weren't judgemental, they were factual. If something is fact (i.e. choices to have a child) then it isn't a judgement. You don't know if we have sympathy for her or not, because a custody battle over a child is not about feelings, it is about fact and the law, so that's the advice she received.

Cortney - posted on 03/26/2014

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the child support is not an issue I've done without it for 4 years now and we are doing just fine no one said my child is for rent!!!!!! wow I wAs just told that that was one of the stipulations for him getting the supervised visits and that's yet to happen !!! that's all we don't need his damn money !!!

Cortney - posted on 03/26/2014

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the court does not have all the info they won't let me present my evidence and all the pictures and nasty messages until this court date !!!

Cortney - posted on 03/26/2014

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no one said that I have or will question my child when she goes for her visit....! but I mean do good people and model parents usually go to jail??? no they don't .... he was convicted of trafficking weed and a felony for the pills. having the amount of money on him and not being able to give me $10 for diapers is bull. he has a domestic violence charge against him for breaking in my house and hitting me and has to take anger management classes. I joined bc I just wanted a little advice I am going about all this in a legal way I have an attorney he just seems lazy and I'm tired of being told to just get over it!!! she's my everything and I want to make sure she is safe and taken care of ! she's had eye surgery to help correct her vision and now has asthma. it takes a lot to give her the attention and care she needs. I thought this was a group for moms that just needed to hear other stories and vent their own and try to get a little advise. what happens if that stuff he does is laying around and she gets a hold of it !!!??? there was supposed to be a drug test and a home visit and nothing has been done and court is quickly approaching ..... that's why I'm so angry I have no way in knowing who's around my child if she's there or what she will be subjected to!

Kim - posted on 03/26/2014

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Cortney SAID he went to jail for selling which IS a Felony. Stop assuming I assume everything. I actually Read her words. And one commentor Did judge Cortney by saying Cortney Chose to have a baby with him, blah, blah, and basically threw her under the bus. I thought this website would have helpful, loving advice, but all I've seen is bitter power struggles and no sympathy whatsoever for Cortney's situation. I will NOT be back on here to be a part of this negative banter/ power struggle. The little girl Hopefully will never find an ecstasy pill at father house, swallow it and die due to lack of trying to find out what's really going on over there. All of you said she hasn't mentioned being concerned about the child's safety, so When have you showed that YOU were concerned with the child's safety. No need to answer it, I won't see your judgemental response.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/26/2014

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Apparently, you're assuming, again, that no one else is concerned about the child's welfare.

Quit! You should not make blanket assumptions, nor blanket statements! You're not being 'hung at the stake'. However, when people blatantly misquote me, and make assumptions about my situation, I'm going to stand my ground.

Jodi - posted on 03/26/2014

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Kim, you are also assuming you are more sensitive to the situation than anyone else is and more concerned for your child's safety. That is not the case. You are just reacting to it in a different way. Again, assumptions.

Kim - posted on 03/26/2014

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Yes, my past definately makes me more sensitive and makes me very concerned for the safety of this child. Now to Cortney- Cortney, just one last thing- I need to make sure you know that you cannot use anything your daughter says as evidence and trying to use info from her may be considered parental alienation. Just want to make that clear. Anything she tells you will just be for investigating further by other means, P.I., etc. Just be sensitive to how she acts after her visits and read my other advice about asking your ex if he is going to Narc. Anonymous or has a counselor, and what type of job he is doing. I've tried to help you but now all that is happening is I'm being hung at the stake so again message me personally if you want to talk. I have too busy of a life to get into internet fights.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/26/2014

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Ms. Kim, would you please point out where I stated "Jodi & Michelle are correct (not Kim)"!

Direct copy from my original post: "Jodi & Michelle have hit it spot on.

Encouraging a parent to 'question' their child about the other parent's habits CAN be considered a form of attempted parental alienation.

The PROPER method is to gain incontrovertible proof by accessing public records. Arrests, court decisions, time served, etc is much more effective than hearsay prompted by a grilling of the child by the custodial parent."

Unless you're seeing invisible words, I never said you were 'wrong'.

And, A LOT of people spend time in a jail cell for drugs, or for DUI, or other things. THAT DOES NOT INDICATE A FELONY CONVICTION. It indicates that the person was arrested for possession, and without seeing the public record, neither you nor anyone else should ASSume that it was anything else.

Furthermore, I would like to know where anyone's JUDGED the OP. I don't see judgement, I see women who've been in similar situations offering advice about what she needs to do. Telling someone to make sure they have incontrovertible proof, not hearsay, not 'feelings' is NOT judgment, it is telling that person what the courts will look at and listen to.

Jodi - posted on 03/26/2014

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And no-one said he was a model father. But there is a difference between a model father and a father who is a clear danger to his child. She has not said anything that indicates her child's safety is at risk.

Jodi - posted on 03/26/2014

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But we are correct. If you don't follow the legal avenues, you can lose your child. End of story. How is that incorrect? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that advice.

And sweetheart, don't discount my story. You have absolutely no idea. But here's the thing, I am not going to go into it in detail because it is IRRELEVANT. You have no idea if drugs were involved or not. None. I have no intention of elaborating. You have made some assumptions that none of us commenting have ever been in a situation that has prompted these same feelings. You are wrong.

What Cortney needs is advice that will not result in her losing her child because she withheld her child. Empathy is not always what people SHOULD hear. It may be what they WANT to hear, but I am not here to tell people what they want to hear. I am here to tell them what the need to hear. That's a whole different thing altogether.

Again, Cortney has not said her child is in danger. She has NOT said she is concerned for her child's safety because of anything specific. I think YOU are taking this way too personally and making some huge assumptions because you can't get over your situation.

Kim - posted on 03/26/2014

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also she said her ex was in jail for drugs, so what does that mean to you? model father?

Kim - posted on 03/26/2014

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You two are the ones that started the assumptions here- saying "don't listen to Kim", and "Michelle and jodi are correct (not Kim). And a depressed ex is different than one on drugs who actually did try to kill your child, so being that you offered No other advice to cortney but to suck it up only leads me to believe you have never been in that situation. I am trying to Help Cortney, she said herself some of the comment here hurt her (probably michelle's for one), and she needs empathy right now, not
judgement. And yes she did say she doesn't think her daughter would be taken care of there (not safe). Read All the posts. You two are the ones on high horses, I have been trying to talk to Cortney here, you two have just been tearing me down, saying don't listen to kim, etc. I seem to be the only one concerned for the child's safety.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/26/2014

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Nowhere does the OP state that the man is a convicted felon.

And, I have to say that Kim must sit pretty high on that horse to assume anything about anyone responding here, considering that she knows none of the responders, nor of their personal situations.

In other words, Ms. Kim, none of the rest of us are posting 'guesses'. So, quit ASSuming.

Jodi - posted on 03/26/2014

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And again, Kim, the OP has not said anything about her child being in danger. You have not been in her situation because everyone's situation is different. You've been in a situation that was yours and maybe a little similar. You don't think I've been in a similar situation? You are assuming too much. Believe me, when you have an ex who is telling you he feels like slamming his car into a tree because life isn't worth living.....AND he is on visitation with your child, it is not any fun. So please don't assume I have been sitting pretty all these years. I just know how it works. You are making a huge assumption about the people who are commenting here.

Kim - posted on 03/26/2014

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The court Already has all that info and is giving visitation, so that is Not helpful at all to her right now. I gave cortney other advice also like talking to her ex, hiring a p.i., and I never said "grill". It is perfectly ok for Cortney to ask a couple specific questions (in a non-negative way) due to the fact her ex is a convicted Felon! You seem to have overlooked that fact. Unless you have had to have your child around a drug addict, dealer, user, or whatever you have NO idea. Also the child will be "grilled" very extensively is she is ever hurt in his care (by cps). They will ask her ALOT of questions. I am giving advice from personal experience, not guesses.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/26/2014

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Jodi & Michelle have hit it spot on.

Encouraging a parent to 'question' their child about the other parent's habits CAN be considered a form of attempted parental alienation.

The PROPER method is to gain incontrovertible proof by accessing public records. Arrests, court decisions, time served, etc is much more effective than hearsay prompted by a grilling of the child by the custodial parent.

Kim - posted on 03/26/2014

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Hi Cortney, fortunately if he wasn't on the 3 hard drugs I listed earlier there is a good chance he has been able to change his ways. Can you try to talk to him on the phone or in person just you and him and try asking him sincerely how his life is going and what he is doing now for a job and try to get some details from him directly? IF he has made a big change it Would be good for your daughter to have him in her life (I'm saying that because I saw my daughter's emotional void from not having her father in her life). And also because she became very difficult to handle as a teenager which I truly believe a good father would have helped with a lot. Sometimes people really can change. I have seen that too. But I know that until you know that for sure it will be excruciating for you dropping her off at his house. My only last suggestion is maybe hiring a private investigator to watch the traffic flow in and out of his house (if he is still dealing there will be cars going in and out, or his car going in and out). You would have to PROVE to a judge that the environment at his house is not safe or healthy for your daughter in order to get a change on the visitation. If you Can't prove it, then Try really hard to talk to your ex a Lot to get to know him as he is now. Talking to him will give you a good sense of if he is the same as he was or different and trying to be a better person. Maybe ask if he goes to NA meetings or has a sponsor who is helping him or a counselor? Also notice if your daughter is happy or sad after spending time with dad. If she is happy after her time with dad there is a very good chance this will end up being a good thing for her. I hope you have some relatives that can help you through this time, you really need people around you to help you emotionally right now, and maybe find a counselor you can talk to about this further. I will pray for you and your daughter. Hugs to you and your beautiful little girl.

Jodi - posted on 03/25/2014

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Unfortunately, Cortney, you actually don't get a say. Child support and visitation are also two separate issues. Children are not commodities, so they are not available for rent. You don't punish a child from having a relationship with a parent because that parent can't or won't pay. If he isn't paying child support, you follow that up separately (I'm assuming you have filed for it).

I know you don't like the answer, but legally, the fact is, you don't get a say unless you go to court. Then, the judge will hear your evidence (not just your feelings or what you want, but actual evidence to demonstrate that it is not in the best interests of your child) and rule accordingly. And that ruling is what you have to abide by. You don't have the right to say you aren't going to allow the visitation. Nothing you have said here has indicated to me that he is a danger to your child.

Cortney - posted on 03/25/2014

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I did choose to have that precious little girl!!! and there has not been a day that I've regretted it!!!! I just feel bad that I made such a young and dumb decision, she doesn't need to pay for my stupid mistake. he went to jail bc he was on pills really bad and got caught selling pills and weed !!! when he got caught he had $5000 in his pocket and just the day before I asked for $10 for diapers and he couldn't do that!!!! that's not fulfilling his fatherly duties in my opinion. he doesn't call even to just say hi to her and has cancelled his last 3 supervised visits!!!! and he still has yet to pay child support ! I'm sorry but I should be allowed to have a say in who's around my child! as a mother in my situation I don't feel that she would be taken care of ! I thank you all for all the comments but some have hurt a little. it was my mistake but I got the greatest gift from god and if I would have had her with n e one else she wouldn't be who she is.... and I love everything about her ! if he's not even doing the little things she's never going to be able to bond with him .....

Kim - posted on 03/25/2014

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yes a little more info would be helpful, but he's been out of his child's life for 3 whole years (most of daughter's life). If he was doing cocaine, heroin or meth, those are instant addictions. It's very rare or unheard of for people to use just once, as they are Highly addictive from the very first time. Probably if he was Not an addict he would been there for Some part of the child's life, so I'm just going by what Cortney said. Did you hear about the guy who tried to decapitate himself the other day while under the influence of synthetic pot? That is truly what people are like when they are high on some types of drugs. But yes more info would be helpful here.

Jodi - posted on 03/25/2014

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No-one said he was a drug addict. I think we need more information before that can be concluded. He was in jail for drugs, but that doesn't mean he is still doing them. It would help if we knew a little more, because clearly there is a reason he is going off supervised visitation.

Kim - posted on 03/25/2014

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Jodi, I am trying to keep her in the legal route but also make sure her daughter stays alive in the house of a drug addict. Even if Cortney requests drug tests for him, some drugs only stay in the system for a few days and he could still be using. There will probably only be one way for Cortney to ever know what is Really happening over there and that one way is what her precious daughter tells her. I am just Very concerned for this child after what I've seen, so much to the point that I feel like crying right now for the fear I have for the child. Drugs turn regular people into monsters. That is why I feel like she should do absolutely everything she possibly can within legal limits. I will pray for the safety of this child.

Jodi - posted on 03/25/2014

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Kim, I didn't say the child's safety was not important. But she needs to do this through legal routes and she should not be "quizzing" her child. You will note I did say she could ask questions, just not the type of questions you suggested because that is putting the child in the middle.

Clearly there is currently a court order WITH supervised visitation, made SINCE he came out of jail, so the judge was fully aware of the issue. I suspect there have been some conditions he had to meet in order for that visitation to become unsupervised in April. So right now, the OP has not mentioned he is a danger to the child. She has said that he is not a good person (in her opinion) and that he has been absent, but not that she is concerned for her daughter's safety.

Kim - posted on 03/25/2014

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Jodi, do you really think the child's safety is not important? Her ex is a drug addict dead beat dad. Apparently you have never been in that situation, but my daughter was almost killed when she was little from a similar situation. My daughter is alive today because I didn't sit around and do nothing! And I didn't tell Cortney to speak badly of her ex to her daughter- THAT is what parental alienation is. You can ask your child a few specific questions without making them think their father is bad, and if you feel the child could be in danger and you don't ask questions you are partly to blame if something happens to them. Cortney, there are some helpful legal websites that will answer some questions-
http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/ar..., but do speak
with your lawyer about which lines you can or cannot cross as far as trying to get info, and again you must obey court orders in order to win in the end. If you need to just vent feel free to message me as I understand the terror you feel right now. Hopefully your ex has cleaned up his act and wants to be a better person, but you can't trust that until he proves it over time.

Michelle - posted on 03/25/2014

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You are the one that chose to have his child and that means you have to deal with him for the rest of your daughter's life.
YOU don't get to choose when and if he sees his daughter, that for the courts to decide and it sounds as if they have.
It's right that if you don't stick to the court orders you will be charged with contempt and you will risk losing your daughter. Like Jodi said, everyone else is right, you have to suck it up and do what's ordered.

Jodi - posted on 03/25/2014

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Are you kidding me? You have absolutely no right to quiz your child about what happens at her dad's house. Do NOT follow Kim's advice. That kind of behaviour could be considered parental alienation, because you are specifically trying to get your child to say something bad about her dad. it's one thing to ask general questions like "How was your day at daddy's? What did you do?". It's quite another to "quiz" her.

You cannot withhold visitation. This can also be seen as parental alienation and yes, you could lose custody altogether. Everyone is right, you just have to get over it. By all means, record evidence, but do NOT involve your daughter in doing the dirty work for you. Keep a diary and record every time he choose NOT to visit. If you want to change the visitation arrangements, you need to go to court, but I'm assuming there is a reason it is moving to unsupervised visitation in April.

Kim - posted on 03/24/2014

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I'm so sorry for you! I would be very worried too. Keep trying your lawyer, but if he can't prevent the visits, ask your daughter to watch what your ex drinks, and if she sees any white powder on the coffee tables or anywhere. Ask your daughter how they talk to her and to each other. If she hears them fighting (it is considered child abuse to fight in front of a child even if it's only verbal). Write down every negative thing your daughter sees or hears on each visit, then talk to your lawyer again. I would also dress up every time you drop her off and tell your ex you're going out somewhere really cool with your boyfriend or friends and say "thanks for watching her for me". Sometimes reverse psychology can work. Resist the urge to not show up for visits because you could end up losing her which would be way worse! Do your parents know what's going on? They might have some good advice.

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